The road to the Terlingua Chili Cookoff Championships (the Super Bowl of chili) led through Wichita Falls, Texas yesterday, Saturday, July 12 as the 50th annniversary reunion committtee members of Wichita Falls High School-Rider football game Baby Boomers Reunion sponsored a chili cookoff at the VFW Post near Lake Wichita. Several chili cookers came to Wichita Falls in search of enough points to qualify for the Terlingua event which will crown a champion in November.
Several of the 15 judges who entered the building yesterday were surprised to encounter a much bigger deal than they had anticipated. A couple of the judges said they had been anticipating maybe four or five samples of chili to taste. Instead there were 19 entrants providing cups of chili for the judges to sample.
And instead of a casual event, first time judges were surprised to encounter an organization which is every bit as regulated as the National Football League. The rules were clear. Any judges caught talking to one another during the tasting about the quality of the chili would be removed from the table
The judges were handed scoring cards with instructions to rate each of the 19 cups of chili from one to 10, with a ten being the best. And the guidelines were detailed. The factors in ranking the chili including color, taste, smell, after taste and consistency.
"Chili is supposed to be red," explained Cindy Noe, the monitor of the event. The top ten competitors received points toward Terlingua.
Terry Pence, the chairman of the Wichita Falls Baby Boomers Reunion Committee, said the event was an unqualified success. Money earned from the event will go to the Coyote Booster Club. The Reunion weekend which coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the first Rider-Coyote football game played will be in October of 2014 and is a generational reunion spaning the classes of the 1950s, 60s and up to the class of 1979. Pence said room reservations are increasing in hotels for people who will be traveling to the City that Faith Built for the half-century reunion and encourages people to get their reservations made soon..The WFHS Baby Boomers Reunion has a website with all the information on the reunion. There will be a tailgate party before the fooball game Friday night on October 3, tours of WFSH on Saturday, dinner and a dance on Saturday night Oct.4.
The judges were to open the cup of chili in front of them, smell the contents, dig in with a plastic spoon for a sample to taste and wait until after swallowing to experience the aftertaste. Only then were the judges to assign a ranking to that particular cup of chili.
Grapes, cheese and crackers were piled on the judges' table so they could "cleanse their palates" between tasting each of the nineteen samples. Beverages were also provided.
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